Religious Affiliations in Europe at the time of the Treaties of Utrecht 1713–14


Map Code: Ax02498

The War of the Spanish Succession marked the culmination – and conclusion – of two centuries of conflicts driven by religious differences, which began with the Protestant Reformation. The war began as a consequence of the French king Louis XIV’s attempts to place his grandson on the Spanish throne, which would have created a Catholic superpower bloc dominating Western Europe. To prevent this, a Grand Alliance was formed, uniting emerging Protestant powers – Britain, the Dutch  Republic and Prussia, with the Catholic Holy Roman Empire (where the arch-dynasts the Habsburgs had their own contender for the Spanish throne) and Portugal. Post-Utrecht, the drivers of European conflict would become economic and imperial, as the western European naval powers colonized much of the world. Ironically, the waning of the Ottoman threat, following their defeat before Vienna in 1683, by diminishing the conception of an embattled  “Christendom”, sapped some of the intensity from traditional sectarian divisions.

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